Applying for an EB-2 visa for US immigration, the second preference route to lawful permanent residence in the USA allows candidates wishing to migrate to the US to live and work in America on a permanent basis.
This immigration service forms one employment based route to what is commonly known as a USA Green Card, that is, a permanent residency grant with no time restrictions placed upon a successful applicant’s stay in the country. A USA EB2 visa may be submitted under one of two categories, for candidates with exceptional ability in the sciences, the arts or business or those holding advanced degrees, with the added possibility in both streams of applying for the National Interest Waiver or NIW.
Immigrating to the USA can seem a complex and daunting procedure due to the expansive range of USA immigration services and visas for America currently available. The processes involved in obtaining a USA Permanent Resident Card or lawful permanent residence can be very time consuming and complicated. In addition, where applicants wish to visit the USA on a temporary basis, there are currently more than 60 types of a non-immigrant visa for the USA. See which type of visa you need, a temporary B1 business visa or B2 tourist visa, a longer-term solution to living and working in the USA such as an H1-B visa or L visa, or a permanent green card for America.
In America, visa applications of this kind are intended as a route to permanent residency in America and the acquisition of a Permanent Resident Card, or a US Green Card as it is popularly known. Accordingly, they bestow the benefits of permanent residence in the US upon those successfully applying to immigrate to the USA in this manner. Like an EB-1 American visa, candidates will be free to enter and leave the United States as they wish and will not be restricted by any limitations on their time in the USA. Applying for an EB-2 visa can provide an excellent opportunity for candidates whose achievements do not meet the definition of “extraordinary” required for EB-1 US visas but comfortably meet the definition of “exceptional” under this route.
In addition, both streams of the EB-2 immigration visa allow for a candidate, where a case can be made, to apply under the National Interest Waiver, which like the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP in the UK, removes the prerequisite offer of employment. If applications for USA visas can demonstrate, in accordance with the NIW, that candidates will further the national interest of America, visas will be granted without the usual requirement of a guaranteed job offer.
Much like the EB-1 visa service, applications for EB-2 visas for migration to America can be subdivided into specific categories of potential immigrant. The first category, for applicants demonstrating exceptional ability in their scientific, artistic or business field is relevant where a case can be made that a candidate has a level of expertise which is clearly above that normally encountered.
Applications for American visas under this route must include
Approved Labour Certification, confirming that a job offer could not be filled from the domestic workforce. Alternatively, a request for a waiver in accordance with the NIW because the employment is in the national interest will be required. In the latter case, documentary evidence must be supplied to support this claim.
Applications will also require documentary proof of three of the following criteria:
An official academic record of achievement detailing the candidate’s relevant degree or similar qualification.
Evidence that the applicant has at least ten years of full-time experience in the field of the job offer.
A relevant licence to practice the occupation or profession where applicable.
Evidence that the candidate has been able to command a salary consummate with their exceptional ability.
Membership of relevant professional organisation.
Recognition by peers, professional or business organizations or government bodies for achievements and contributions to the field.
Members of Professions Holding Advanced Degrees
This category applies where a candidate immigrating to America has an advanced degree, i.e. beyond a Bachelor’s degree and where the job being offered specifically requires such a qualification. Applications may also be made where a candidate has a Bachelor’s degree and five years of progressive experience in the field, a concession sometimes known as BS+5. The candidate must be working in a professional occupation such as a doctor, lawyer, teacher or architect and in cases where the five-year experience method is being used, documentary evidence from former employers must be included.
Candidates migrating to the USA under this route will need to provide the following:
Approved labour certification, or once again where applicable, a request for a waiver under the NIW.
An official record of academic achievement, demonstrating that the candidate has an advanced degree or a degree and five years of relevant experience.
An official academic record showing that the alien has a US advanced degree or an equivalent foreign degree, or an official academic record showing that the alien has a US bachelor’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree and letters from current or former employers showing that the alien has at least 5 years of progressive post-bachelor experience in the specialty.
National Interest Waiver
Applying for the National Interest Waiver is a possibility in either of the streams above if a substantial case can be made that the applicant’s migration to the USA is in the national interest of the country. If such an application is successful then the need for a permanent job offer and the process of labour certification will be removed. Each case is considered on its individual merits, and unlike the employer driven process for the EB2 visa itself, candidates may apply for the NIW themselves.
Whilst each case is considered separately, as a general guide, the following criteria will be taken into consideration:
The candidate’s area of expertise has a substantial inherent value.
The benefits of the applicant’s presence would be national and would outweigh the extent to which labour certification would be in the national interest.
Dependent Immigration and Spouse Immigration
As with all routes to obtaining United States Green Cards, migrating to the USA on an employment based immigration service is intended as a means to permanent USA immigration. As a result, dependent immigration and spouse immigration are permitted and successful applicants may bring their spouse or partner and dependent children with them.